Shreiber smiles. Is anyone interested in meeting me? There's a great shot of your crotch while you're interviewing Foxygen. It is true. Mac watches for a few minutes and seems almost ashamed of his behavior, especially as he watches him and his bassist Pierce nearly make Jarvis Taveniere, of Woods, have a panic-attack as they continue to ask him about how he makes his hair look so pretty.
I arrive at Mac's apartment around noon the next day. The plan is to play pinball. Mac loves pinball. It is his latest obsession. He started playing to kill time on the road during his band's tour with Naomi Punk, and now he is addicted. He fell in love with the crazy sounds and the flashing lights and the strange rules. It got so serious that, now when he is on tour, he sometimes calls ahead to the venues to see if they have pinball machines, or if any places nearby do.
But I can't play too close to showtime because I get too focused and too serious. I don't like to go onstage that way. He cannot find his groove, so he wanders off to play the drums. Also, he has pretty bad gas. Sorry, but it's gonna be a stinky day. It is sort of charming. Kiera smiles and nods. Our first stop is to pick up Dustin Payseur, the founder of Beach Fossils , an indie-rock band also signed to Captured Tracks.
Dustin's band is on a short break from touring so, like Mac, he has time to kill. Sunshine Laundry, in Greenpoint, is a laundromat with about a dozen pinball machines inside. Mac loves it here.
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Before he purchased his own machine, he came to play these a few times a week. He is at home here, and he quickly finds his stride. Compared to Mac, Dustin and I are terrible at pinball.
I have gone through two dollars worth of quarters on the 'Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure' machine while Mac is still on his first game. He is killing 'Family Guy,' steady-banging multi-balls and power-balls and strategically slapping the buttons. When he plays pinball, Mac is calm and focused and quiet, which is the exact opposite of how he normally is. Both Dustin and Mac are huge fans, and Captured Tracks' offices are just a few blocks away from Sunshine Laundry, so we walk over.
Captured Tracks is currently settling into its new space on the ground floor of an apartment building in Greenpoint. On the left side is their office space; and on the right is the record store they are planning to open. They will sell the Captured Tracks' discography there, as well as other select vinyl and cassette releases; some of the label's artists will be curating their own section of the shelves so fans can get listening recommendations straight from the source. The plan is to have a soft opening in two weeks, the first day of the CT5 Festival Captured Tracks is throwing to celebrate its fifth anniversary.
There is a lot of excitement in the office. The walls are freshly painted white and everything looks new. On the walls of the office, there are posters of Captured Tracks artists, but there are more traces of Mac than of anyone else. Above a shelf of records, there is a Mac concert poster between a Wire poster and a Neu! At one point, Sniper takes a photo of Mac standing next to an image of Modern Lovers founder Jonathan Richman, who is one of Mac's personal musical heroes. It is obvious that Captured Tracks considers Mac a huge part of its current identity, and an even bigger part of its future.
It sounds really simple and silly to say out loud, but it's honestly the number one thing we look for when signing bands… And indie-rock needed someone like Mac to be ballsy, yet lighthearted. The scene can get so stale after a while that it's nice to have a spicy personality like Mac's liven it up. Captured Tracks made its name elevating artists specializing in weird, lo-fi pop like Mac's, but none of them are quite like Mac. Unlike the others, Mac has a loud and ridiculous personality. His only equal is Zachary Cole Smith, of DIIV; but while Smith is serious and outspoken regarding the hidden, complex economics of indie music, Mac is just a sweet, clumsy, big-hearted goofball.
And, compared to delicate, soft-pop acts like Wild Nothing or Widowspeak, Mac is an outsider. He is the Wild Party Bro who shows up at the concert and drinks so much cheap beer he loses his baseball cap and tries to make-out with someone's boyfriend and ends up going home with a mysterious bruise and pizza stains all over his socks. There is nothing sketchy about the rest of the Captured Tracks roster; Mac is the king of sketch or at least of knowing how to push things right up to the edge of it without ever falling off.
But, as his label bosses know, Mac is first and foremost a superb songwriter. He was "intentionally sketchy" on songs like 'Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans,' where he expressed his attraction to a woman and her pants. It was a trashy, sleazy rock album that celebrated rock's trashy, sleazy core. Some of the songs, like the title track, where Mac did his finest Elvis impression, were warped and dripping with DJ Screw syrup. It was over-the-top and conceptual and kooky. There were many silly moments, but on ' Only You ' and 'She's Really All I Need,' Mac also proved he was an inventive songwriter with a unique ability to craft off-kilter and infectious melodies.
Mac's singular guitar sounded sometimes crystal clear, sometimes blurry, and always gorgeous which is why we recently named him one of the 30 Best Guitarists Under 30 , and he bent his elastic voice with ease from deep croons to cloud-kissing yodels. The music flirted with yacht-rock and AM radio cheese and even Jimmy Buffet flip-flop vibes , but without ever drowning in trendy irony.
It is hard to tell sometimes, but Mac's aim is true, and '2' was an deeply romantic and totally sincere statement. The closing track, 'Still Together,' was an acoustic, child-like campfire ballad dedicated to Kiera. After the guys in Medicine leave for their hotel, and Mac and Dustin secure spots on the guest list for Medicine's show tomorrow night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the two decide to make a promo video for the upcoming Captured Tracks festival.
It gets real weird real fast. One of the creepiest skits they come up with involves Mac pretending to be a drunk redneck. He sits on a toilet and holds a bottle of liquor that is actually filled with water. He stands up and slaps his own ass five times with a fly-swatter because Captured Tracks is celebrating its fifth year, get it? He looks like an insane person, and the Captured Tracks staff looks very uncomfortable.
Gigs of the week
But Mac is their guy, so they are probably cool with it. Once Mac and Dustin do as much dumb stuff as they can possibly do inside the Captured Tracks office, they decide to head back to Dustin's house to shoot some more footage. Dustin lives with Katie just a few blocks away.
They are getting married next year, Katie says, and Mac is performing at the reception. On the walk, Mac and Dustin hold hands. Dustin says the band will play a Steely Dan cover song, but he cannot reveal the rest of the setlist. Back at Katie and Dustin's house, things get even weirder. Mac and Dustin take their shirts off and put on leather jackets so Mac can act like Dustin's sex slave. Mac flexes like the Ultimate Warrior, his neck veins bulging, he looks like he is going to burst, and Dustin spanks him on the ass a few times.
Mac puts on a Mardi Gras mask that makes him look like an alien, and he talks into a vacuum cleaner as if it is a telephone. Katie agrees with Kiera. I agree with them both. I step outside with Mac while he smokes a cigarette. I ask him if he fears that the gonzo, often-sketchy antics, like the ones I have just witnessed and the ones his concerts are known for, will distract people from his music. For instance, that one time he took his clothes off onstage and put a drum stick up his own butt. You put a drum stick up your ass!
Mac DeMarco's Favorite Mac DeMarco Songs
It was fun. I didn't think it would become an Internet phenomenon, but it worked out in my favor, right? Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat, so at least animal rights activists aren't gonna tear down my door. Paul Carruthers. Le Petit Oiseau. Josh Hawkins. Purchasable with gift card.
Mac DeMarco on TIDAL
Sold Out. Rock And Roll Night Club Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans One More Tear To Cry European Vegas She's Really All I Need Moving Like Mike Me And Jon Hanging On I'm A Man Tags rock indie indie pop indie rock jangle pop rock and roll New York. Iceland Airwaves. Ancienne Belgique AB. Alexandra Palace. O2 Apollo Manchester. O2 Academy Glasgow. Vicar Street. O2 Academy Birmingham. Bramley Moore Dock Warehouse.